A true sisterly bond: Mansfield's Lacey sisters have relied on each other in their career
A lot has changed for Mansfield's Emma and Victoria Lacey over the past four years.
There have been ups and downs on the court. There were injuries and times where they didn't' play much. There was even a coaching change.
However, while everything was constantly changing there was always one constant.
For the past for years the sisters had each other to lean on.
"We are kind of each others reminder of why not to give up," Emma said. "We remind each other all the time. I don't know how I would have done this without her."
There was a time when it didn't look like the two would both play at Mansfield.
After high school Emma chose to play for the Mountaineers, but Victoria didn't think she wanted to go to the same school.
"In high school her senior year she said she would never want to go to school with her sister," Emma said. "Now, I love having her here. I don't know what I would do without her. We really just get along really well."
And there have been plenty of times the two have needed each other.
An injury in her junior year cost Emma all but four games and she wound up redshirting, so both sisters are playing one last year together this year.
There was last season when Victoria scored no points and the two combined for just eight minutes a game.
There was a coaching change before this season and the uncertainty that can come with that.
After every tough game or practice the sisters had each other to lean on.
"Every practice, every game one of us usually picks the other one up. We tell each other 'you got this.' It's nice to have that support system."
It's not just having each other either, it's having a family that is at nearly every game cheering them on.
"It reminds us why we love our family and they remind us why we love the game," Victoria said.
It's also part of the reason why the two have never been competitive of each other like some siblings can be.
"I just think the time here and all we have gone through with a lot of ups and downs, it makes us not jealous of each other," Emma said. "We really just support each other."
For all the tough moments in their career, there are moments like Saturday that make it all worth it.
Victoria hit four threes and led the team in scoring with 12 points. She now has 14 threes on the year and is averaging a career-high 10.7 minutes and 2.7 points per game. Emma played 24 minutes against Shippensburg and averages a career-best 15.5 minutes a game this year.
While the performances were nice, the exciting part for the two was the second half when both sisters spent a lot of time on the court together.
"It was really nice," Emma said. "When I see her make a three I just want to run over there, it's amazing. It was great, and especially having all our family here."
While their family tries to make it to as many of the games as possible Saturday was one of the times that nearly the entire family was there to watch the two.
In the past the two have had a good day in front of some of the family, while others might have missed it.
"I will hit a three in front of my dad and my mom will not have been able to come," Victoria said. "It was nice to have all of them here. I know they were proud, especially my dad because he taught me to shoot."
For the two sister playing half of the second half together was something they haven't done in a long time.
"The last time we really played together that much was in high school," Victoria said.
Ironically a lot of times things are like they were in the first half Saturday when Victoria came into the game, replacing Emma.
"That actually has happened throughout our four years," Emma said. "We really cherish when we get to play together."
Victoria has always loved hearing the coach call her name to have her enter the game, but she sometimes fear the next words.
"It's fun when you hear your named called by the coach," Victoria said. "Then she says go in for your sister and it's like 'no.'"
The two love any chance to play, it's just extra special when that time on the court is together.
"I can see her on the floor and we can just give each other a look," Victoria said. "You hear about that and we really have that sisterly thing and I can look at her and she will see if I don't want the ball and not pass it."
While the two are similar in height, Emma is listed at 5-feet, 7-inches, Victoria at 5-feet, 6-inches, there games couldn't be more different.
"People always ask us if we are sisters who is better," Emma said. "But, we play completely different. When I was little I was huge. I learned more post up stuff inside."
Emma is more of a high-energy player who isn't afraid to battle inside.
"I take any chance I get to play," she said. "I try and take my role to get other people pumped up everytime I am out there."
Victoria's role is a shooter, and she knows that's what people expect when she enters a game.
"Usually when I am put in toward the end it's to take threes," she said. "My job is to shoot with no regret. I kind of tell myself my job is to shoot threes."
There are times her shooting percentage can suffer because teams are keying on her making her shots difficult. Then, there are nights she might be able to get a few chances when she comes in.
"On nights I go in and if they haven't scouted sometimes they don't know I'm going to shoot," she said. "If their hands are down, I'm definitely going to shoot it."
Emma knows that her sister is a different player than she is.
"She's always been a hot hand," she said. "She does different things from me and I do different things from her."
For the two sisters days like Saturday make them remember back to high school.
"It kind of brings us back full circle," Emma said.
And, the two know that as their careers near an end these are the type of moments they will never forget.
"It's a good note to leave off," Victoria said. "It instills pride in how lucky we have been to get to play college basketball. It's great to have this opportunity."